Brooklyn Center Police are searching for the man responsible for stealing a donated car off the Cars for Courage lot along Brooklyn Boulevard. It's a theft that will cost the nonprofit Courage Center precious dollars that go toward rehabilitation programs and services for the disabled.
"[I'm] just kind of blown away that somebody would come onto our lot and steal a donated vehicle that potentially could have brought a thousand dollars to the Courage Center for programs and services," said Kelly Buttler, director of in-kind giving for Cars for Courage.
Surveillance video taken on site shows what happened at the car lot in broad daylight on Sunday afternoon, March 25. A white two-door truck with a tow bar pulled onto the Brooklyn Center lot. A man approached the office doors, peered in the window, and finding no one inside, he returned to the truck, backed it up and loaded up and hauled off with a 1994 white Pontiac Grand Am.
Cars for Courage gets thousands of donated cars each year, which are sold and the proceeds benefit those with disabilities at the Courage Center in Golden Valley. Last year, the car donation program brought in more than $2 million for the nonprofit organization.
"It is a critical source of revenue for the Courage Center, we count on every penny of it," said Buttler.
Brooklyn Center Police Commander Tim Gannon said it's uncommon to have a car stolen right off a lot, though the city has had three to four similar auto theft cases at apartment complexes over the past year.
Gannon said he's confident, with the public's help, police will be able to find the suspect and hopefully recover the vehicle.
"The whole process of actually picking up the vehicle took only minutes, but he was in the parking lot to make sure the coast was clear for a period of time," said Gannon.
The driver of the white truck with the tow bar is described as a white male, medium build, with short brown hair. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 763-503-3215.
For more information on the Cars for Courage donation program visit www.couragecenter.org/cars.